Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program

Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch Program: AFCOOP Recommendation Phase Application

DEADLINE: Jan. 28th 2019 11:59pm

General Information

AFCOOP is now accepting applications for another instalment of the Telefilm Canada Talent to Watch Program (formerly known as the Micro-Budget Program). The Talent to Watch Program is a production opportunity for first-time feature filmmakers, with an emphasis on digital and online distribution models. For more information about the program visit the Telefilm site.

The Telefilm Talent to Watch Program will provide financing for the development, production, digital distribution and promotion of a feature-length film or a narrative-based web series made specifically for online distribution. Once completed, the projects must be made available to the public through one or more digital platforms (e.g. web portals, video portals such as YouTube or Netflix, video on demand, mobile platforms/devices, etc.).

Telefilm will support projects through a non-repayable financial contribution of up to $125,000 for feature films and narrative-based web projects of 75 minutes and more in total lengthTelefilm’s financial contribution must be used to cover direct expenses relating to the development, production, post-production, distribution and promotion of the project.

AFCOOP is eligible to recommend two feature films and one narrative web-based project for both the Main Component and the Indigenous Component.

AFCOOP invites current AFCOOP members, recent FILM 5 grads (2011 and onwards) or others who have been closely affiliated with the co-op (taken part in a training program, volunteered on a committee, etc.) seeking recommendation from AFCOOP to forward a complete Recommendation Phase Application to AFCOOP on or before Jan. 28th at midnight for review by an AFCOOP assembled peer jury.


All the key members (producer, writer and director) must be 18 years or older and Canadian citizens, within the definition of the Citizenship Act, or permanent residents within the definition of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Emerging – All the key members (producer, writer and director) of the project must be emerging talent i.e. they must already have produced, directed and/or written at least one short film (i.e. 30 minutes or less) but cannot have previously held the same key position on a feature length film (i.e. 75 minutes or more). For example, if you have previously directed a feature film you are eligible to apply as a producer or writer (and visa versa). Additionally, producers who have previously produced one feature film that has received funding under this Program (formerly known as the Micro-Budget Production Program) will also be considered as emerging talent.

AFCOOP Member / Alumni – The director of the project must be either a current AFCOOP member (Full, Associate or Lifetime), a recent graduate of the FILM 5 program (2011 and onwards) or others who have been closely affiliated with the co-op (taken part in a training program, volunteered on a committee etc.). Note that producers do not need to meet the AFCOOP Member / Alumni requirements. Please confirm your eligibility with AFCOOP prior to submitting your application (contact Martha Cooley at

Indigenous Component:

For the Indigenous Component it is not necessary that filmmakers be current members of AFCOOP or closely affiliated with the co-op, however teams must still meet the emerging criteria specified above. More information on Indigenous self-identity, review Telefilm’s guidelines on their website here

Projects submitted through the Indigenous stream and all other projects with Indigenous content shall address the issue of how the team sought to engage the various Indigenous communities that will be impacted by the project. Suitable means of achieving this may include the following, as applicable: letters of support from the community, letters of support from Indigenous advisors, contracts between the communities and the creative team for the project, community engagement plans, etc.

Eligible Projects:

Projects must be either feature films (narrative or documentary) that are over 75mins in length or a web-based series comprised of one or more segments which in total must be more than 10mins in length. Projects can be in English, French or an Indigenous language. Projects must conform to the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Code of Ethics and not contain any element that is an offence under the Criminal Code.

To Submit

Please complete the online application form and required materials that are listed below by Jan. 28th at midnight.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications to AFCOOP must include:

1) Feature Length Script (or a script for one episode of a narrative-based web project);

2) Presentation Video: a downloadable pitch video of maximum 5 minutes that will:

  • state the project’s working title;
  • identify the key creative team involved in the project and their individual track records (including samples of past work if applicable or relevant);
  • identify the genre, the type, and the length of the project;
  • provide a synopsis of the story;
  • outline the creative team’s vision/visual treatment of the material;
  • outline any other relevant information that sets the project apart (e.g.: confirmed appearance by an established actor, successful crowdfunding campaign, relationship with VFX professionals or animators);
  • identify the target audience;
  • include 1 minute segment of the director’s previous short films;

NOTE: the video must NOT include footage from other projects that are not the team’s own work.

3) Support Material (as PDFs):

  • Synopsis of the project (max. 750 words) which includes the main story development and tells the basic story from beginning to end;
  • Director’s Vision (up to 3 pages);
  • Promotion and Distribution Plan (up to 2 pages) – identifying the project’s audience., and identifying how the team will find and access this audience;
  • Creative Team Filmography (writer, director and producer) – use template on the Telefilm website which will indicate training, education, experience, accolades, outline past projects and history of team collaboration;
  • Budget Top Sheet – use template on the Telefilm website;
  • Additional Information (up to 1 page) – any other info which sets the project apart (eg: personal connection to the story material, successful crowdfunding campaign, confirmed cameo by a well known actor, established fan base on social media).


Proposals submitted to AFCOOP will be evaluated by a peer jury of local filmmakers and film professionals. The evaluation of the projects submitted to AFCOOP and Telefilm will take into consideration the following elements:

  • the quality of the track record of the creative team;
  • the quality, originality, and innovativeness of the creative content;
  • the understanding of the marketplace for the project and the innovativeness of the promotion and distribution strategy;
  • the feasibility and level of production readiness of the project.
Main Component:
Martha Cooley –
Indigenous Component:
Bretten Hannam –